Indian Summer Jars is energetic and authentic. “Stirring and earnest without ever straying into the melodramatic,” says Jeff Royer, chief editor of Fly Magazine. Their original music is folksinger/songwriter driven lyrically, but has its roots in blues, bluegrass, and pop rock. A duo formed in 2006, the two Sarah’s “… set off a fireworks display of harmonies over-top of rootsy, often Celtic, undertones.” Since they formed, the duo has recorded two full length albums. The first was an independent release in 2008, “Similar,” and the second project called “Catalyst,” released in 2011, under the label Radio Vibe Records. ISJ has done countless interviews with local and distant press. Worth noting is a radio interview spotlight with Virginia Tech’s ‘Buffalo Bill’ and local podcast with renowned Lancaster promoter and musician, Jason Mundock. Opening up for the Irish band, Altan, at the Carlisle Theatre was a highlight of their 2011 schedule. These women hold their own on a large stage working with a full band as well as in the corner of a local bar. The song “Runaway Train” from Similar received recognition from the Susquehanna Folk Society for the 2008 Singer/Songwriter Showcase.
Sarah Beth Deardorff - Lead Vocals; Lead Guitar
Sarah King - Vocals, Guitar, keyboard, tambourine, Shakers
Kelly McClain - Percussion
"Similar" 2008 Full Length album, self release
"Catalyst" Feb 2011, Radio Vibe Records Release
Scanned Articles in Photo Section
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Please see scanned press articles from various publications under Photo Gallery Section. Some of ou...Please see scanned press articles from various publications under Photo Gallery Section. Some of our articles did not transfer well from pdf to jpeg format. We can email you articles in pdf format if desired. You can also view live performances of us at YouTube- search Indian Summer Jars.
10 Questions with Indian Summer Jars
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10 Questions with...Indian Summer Jars As part of the recurring feature "10 Questions with…" here...10 Questions with...Indian Summer Jars
As part of the recurring feature "10 Questions with…" here at Daddy’s Sugar Ball we will be interviewing sports and entertainment personalities with connections to the local Central PA area. Please check out our past interviews here.
This week we were very grateful to have a discussion with Sarah King and Sarah Beth of the music group, Indian Summer Jars. The two Sarahs intertwine beautifully poetic lyrics, agile guitar playing and stunning harmonies into a unique acoustic folk-rock blend with earthy and Celtic undertones. Among other upcoming shows, they will be playing this Thursday on the Anchors Away stage at the York Fair and Friday night at the White Rose Bar & Grill in York.
Sarah Beth and Sarah King of Indian Summer Jars
DSB: How did the two of you meet and decide to pursue a career as a duo?
Sarah Beth: It was very accidental. We were both fellow artists when we met at an open mic at Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg about 4-5 years ago. A lot of time went by and we started sharing gigs because it’s hard to get gigs in the area for original artists anyway.
Sarah King: Sarah was not yet 21 either
SB: Which made it harder
SK: So I snuck her in to some places. I was playing in a duo with my friend Jeremy Patterson. And then Sarah Beth is just such an awesome talent, I just couldn’t allow her to not play in front of lots of people at every opportunity she could get. So I offered her to sit in with us and play on our breaks. And Jeremy had a band called the Glorious Filaments and they started doing a lot of stuff plus he also worked waiting tables a couple of nights a week and it was just impossible because he made so much more money waiting tables than he did playing music. So then Sarah and I were like "Heck, why don’t the two of use just share gigs together". And then we were like "Heck, why don’t we just both sing and perform together".
DSB: What kind of background do the both of you have in music?
SB: My family always played music. It was always around. My dad was big on bluegrass and every Sunday they’d have a big jam where 15-20 people would get together and play music. I had to be a part of it even as a little kid. Not knowing how to play music, but I would pretend like I knew what I was doing. I’m still doing the same thing today - - pretending like I know what I’m doing.
SK: Fake it ‘til you make it. I was always a big ham since I was a kid singing Bruce Springsteen into the camera tripod and pretending it was a microphone. I just did a lot of chorus ensemble things, church things, I was on the worship team at our church and made up all the harmonies - - I would get bored of playing melodies. And performing in front of people for so long I got really good at coming up with harmonies. I also did musical theatre and a lot of acting and performing in college. Then I took voice lessons there and my voice teacher said I needed to learn to play guitar, so I started late playing guitar. I also started late songwriting. I was probably like 19-20ish when I started doing both things.
DSB: In your music I can hear some of your influences like Patty Griffin and Ani DiFranco. Who are some of your other influences and not just musically?
SB: It changes. It changes every day. Patty Griffin and Ani DiFranco are big; not even so much for their musical style of writing but what they’ve done as far as in the business. But then also like Jack Johnson and his style…his whole laid back take on music itself. Everyday people influence the writing more than anything. Then there are awesome musicians that you meet around you. I worked at a music shop for a while and all the guitar teachers there are so good so you learn from people around you that know a lot more and are better players. You suck up all their energy and take that and put it into your own songwriting. Poetry too…
SK: And reading your novels…they inspire you too
SB: Yeah, the novels…and even just looking at art pieces and reading people’s takes on everyday life is a pretty big impact too.
DSB: What is the writing process like between the two of you?
SK: I totally write different than Sarah that’s why we don’t normally write together.
SB: We’re like the Indigo Girls that way.
SK: My favorite female artists would be PJ Harvey, Bjork, Tori Amos, Poe…I just like those loud, direct women that are very heavily emotionally laden. Typically Sarah Beth will write a ton of songs because it’s so natural for her to write all day long and then she’ll bring them to me and I’ll just come up with harmonies to go around that and whatever else we can figure out. She’ll help me with some guitar parts since she’s playing guitar since how old?
SB: 8 years old…I’ve been playing for like 15 years.
SK: And for my songs I don’t have to direct her for anything because she just gets it…which is great, she just stands out and gets it and it works.
DSB: What is the origin of the name?
SK: The name comes about because Indian summer is when there is that unexpected turn of good weather and people are more inclined to call off of work and live life to the fullest and the jars part is preserving those moments and sharing them with others and encouraging them to do the same to break from the routine and really have those memorable moments.
DSB: What are some of your favorite venues to play in the midstate area?
SK: The White Rose Bar & Grill in York…York is kind of our home-based town because we know a lot of people there. Our York fans are a little wild and crazy. We play back in the smoking lounge so it gets a little smoky and rowdy. We’ve been known to do a Michael Jackson cover here and there when our fans egg us on.
SB: Serenity Station is mellow and low-key and has great acoustics and it’s got a good artistic vibe going on which is what we’re looking for.
SK: Suba’s in Harrisburg is great because it’s so classy and upscale.
SB: And you can see the Capitol building from the front window.
SK: We can also tell you we have another band member. His name is Bill Lanchier. We added him like 3 or 4 months ago. We met him accidentally at the granola stand his daughter runs at the Central Market in York. We met Bill and he plays the djembe drum with us and he’s so energetic. He could drum for three days straight without stopping.
DSB: What’s been your secret to building a loyal fanbase?
SK: Our secret is Bill. Bill’s like 50-something and has way more friends than us.
SB: Our fanbase is very broad. We attract all ages and we’re trying to play different areas and not just York twice in a weekend. We have a lot of friends in York, but they’re not going to come out two nights in a row. So we try to get around as much as we can.
SK: We don’t really market very well. I’ve been known to leave mailing lists behind at several places by accident. But I’ve gotten a lot better at that lately. So now I’ve got the mailing list under wraps so we’re emailing people. Some of it is the broadness of the venues that we have played because we play just anywhere and everywhere. We’ve played at an American Legion. This year will be the second time we are playing at Stauffer’s in Mechanicsburg for the Fall Festival. We’ve also played the Little Buffalo Arts Festival , we’re playing at Share Fest next weekend and Friendship Fest this weekend after we play the White Rose on Friday. So we keep really super busy…I think from just getting around that much people start to know who we are after five years.
SB: They just can’t ignore it…They’re like "Those girls are everywhere…where don’t they play?"
SK: We were just at First Friday in Lancaster a couple of weeks ago. We played Progressive Galleries there and the Queen Street Block Party.
SB: We get out in West Virginia…we’re probably going to be back there in October at a really good venue. We try to get around as much as we can for still having day jobs and not being full-time musicians. But it’s a nice balance right now.
DSB: What are some of the opportunities and pitfalls of the independent music scene? I would think it’s easier than 15, 20 years ago when everyone seemed to be on a major label.
SB: It also makes it harder because everybody has an equal chance so everyone is equally scrutinized and it’s just as hard to get out there. Whereas before when you had a lot of talent and the right person saw you, they could put the money behind you and you could quit the day job to focus on music. Sometimes I debate running off to Austin to a big music town and making music. But also in the same turn you miss out on that whole local niche and it’s very cool.
SK: I think it would be good to get a label so we wouldn’t have to work so hard and someone else could do all the promoting for us and we could sit back and make music.
SB: It’s hard to get some support…It would be nice to find an agent, somebody in marketing who can do the advertising because that’s the key really – getting the word out there - because I think there are a lot of people around and young people who want to see good stuff and new music and there‘s a lot of good stuff going on especially in Lancaster. It’s got a really great scene going and we’ve been a little bit a part of that and not as much as we’d like to be.
SK: We’re going to jump in more…we’re going to attack Lancaster. So look out!
DSB: In 2008, you released your CD "Similar" (can be purchased here). What was the recording process like?
SK: It was very organized. It was actually pretty easy. Like one or two takes and it was done for all the songs. We just took off of work for a whole week. It was hard because we had to go a long time in the studio all day every day. We blocked it such that after a week it was all done except for the mixing and mastering process. It definitely isn’t as fun as doing a live recording which is what we are going to be doing next. We just recorded a 3 song video/live recording for Folktown Studios which is run by Steven Courtney. He’s going to split up and release each of these three songs. He’s launching a website www.folktownstudios.com at the end of this month. And we’ll be promoting that because that will be our first time with live video recording in a studio and we’ve got Bill with us too so which is great. So it captures the energy a lot more when the three of us are together. It definitely takes it up a notch adding the djembe to the live performance. In the studio we had session players that played a full drum set and a bass guitar on five of the songs and then we had a friend of ours, Jeff, sit in and play the djembe on one of the songs before we even met Bill.
DSB: What are the next steps…where do you want to get to next?
SK: I think we’re going to record again and then release what we did for Folktown Studios after it gets back to us because we have to give full promotional rights for the first 60 days. But we also want to do a short three track with potentially adding some violin. But then after that we’re planning to do a whole other album. We’re doing these little bumps like this because we still haven’t paid off the first album.
We here at DSB again wish to thank Sarah and Sarah for their time and cooperation on the interview. We highly recommend you check out their upcoming shows this Thursday afternoon at the Anchors Away stage at the York Fair and Friday night at the White Rose Bar & Grill. You can check out more upcoming dates along with samples of their music and all things Indian Summer Jars at http://www.myspace.com/indiansummerjars.
Thanks for coming and suckling Daddy's Sugar Ball...
Posted by Max Power at 9/16/2009 9:00 AM
Categories: 10 Questions with
Tags: Sarah King Suba's Indian Summer Jars York Fair Sarah Beth Serenity Station
We typically play 1-3 hour sets of original music.
Age Old Reason
Black Fly Blues
Build it Up
Language of a Thought
Light of a Different Day
Lovin’ and Leavin’
Map of the World
Running Down the Sun
Say No More
Situation on my Chin
Six Feet Under
Such Tall Tales
Sun Dog Fall
Take the Fire
Weights & Measures
There are no upcoming dates at this time.